Frequently Asked Questions
Is periodontal surgery a cure for periodontal disease?
No. Once you have periodontal disease, you cannot cure it. The bacteria which causes periodontitis in your mouth remains there and only with meticulous home care, recommended periodontal treatments by your periodontist and regular periodontal visits can one keep the bacteria and pockets under control and to a minimum...and thus predict the success of your periodontal surgery. It is best to initially prevent the risk of gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day; floss daily; visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning; eat a well-balanced diet; and refrain from smoking.
Why should I see a periodontist?
Your periodontal disease may progress to the point where only a periodontist may be able to help you. Periodontists receive extensive training, including three additional years of postdoctoral training, and learn state-of-the-art techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases and placing dental implants.
Aside from treating periodontal diseases, if you are missing one or more teeth and are considering dental implants, your periodontist can help you decide if they are right for you.
What are the benefits of seeing a periodontist?
Besides fresh breath, a renewed confidence in your smile, restored oral health and a new sense of health and vitality, you will be able to chew your food more easily and enjoy foods you have avoided in the past due to the difficulty eating them. With help from your periodontist and your own dedication to good oral health, you no longer have to accept tooth loss as part of getting older and should keep your teeth for a lifetime.
How long does an implant last?
Dental implants today have a very high success rate. Factors that compromise these success rates are the patient's health (diabetes, smoking, HIV, metabolic bone disease) along with poor oral hygiene or pre-existing periodontal disease still not treated.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
• Improved appearance
• Improved comfort.
• Enjoy chewing and tasting foods again.
• Protect remaining natural teeth.
• Improved self esteem
The 2007 McGill study now proves without a doubt that there is a 97% increase in the quality of life of implant-supported dentures, over traditional dentures.
Dental implants allow for an increased ability to chew and function with implant-supported teeth. People with dentures can only chew food with about 20% of the force of their natural teeth, people with implants can chew with 85-95% of the force of their natural teeth. Also a common problem of denture wearers, particularly those with lower dentures, is the lack of stability of dentures. The insecurity of loose dentures can be replaced by an implant supported denture.
Does implant or periodontal surgery hurt?
This is one of the most frequent concerns. After surgery, the most common comment we receive is how comfortable people were after the procedure. If patients follow the post-operative instructions as directed and take the prescriptions and antibiotics provided by the periodontist, most people return to work the next day and comment how smoothly things have gone.
Will I experience much pain after the anaesthesia wears off?
There may be some discomfort and possibly some swelling. This is normal. Before the anesthetic wears off, you may want to take one or two pain pills if prescribed. To reduce swelling and discomfort, use an ice pack on the outside of your mouth for the first few hours, 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off. If you do not have an ice pack put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap it in a towel or use frozen peas/corn wrapped in a towel. Swelling will reach a maximum at two to three days and start to subside. Ice packs will only be effective if used during the first few hours.
Will my gums bleed following surgery?
It is not unusual to have some light bleeding for 24 hours following periodontal surgery. The blood, however, should not be in large clots. A small amount of blood mixed with a large amount of saliva makes it appear to be more blood than it truly represents. If there is considerable bleeding after several hours, take a piece of gauze and form it in the shape of a “U”. Holding it between the thumb and index finger, apply the gauze to both sides of the surgical site with gentle pressure for twenty minutes. If bleeding still does not stop, please call the office.
What may I eat?
Eat soft food. Stay away from anything really hot or cold and no spicy foods for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours you may eat normally, but avoid chewing in the area of the surgery.
May I smoke?
Preferably NO but at least reduce smoking one day before surgery and 2 days after surgery.
May I have a drink?
NO drinking of alcoholic beverages for the first 48 hours after surgery. It may cause bleeding to start from the surgical site; medication and alcohol do not mix.
Shall I brush and floss my teeth?
Do not brush or floss in the area of the surgery for 24 hours or until your doctor has advised you to do so. Gently rinse the mouth periodically AFTER 24 hours with the Peridex mouth rinse (if prescribed) to promote healing. Brush and floss the other areas of the mouth as normal.
May I exercise?
Avoid exercise for the first 48 hours. If possible, go home immediately after the surgery, and try to relax with minimal physical activity or talking. If you have to go back to work, try to avoid talking and physical exertion as much as possible.